Jumat, 18 April 2014

INDONESIA DETERMINED TO EMERGE AS NEW ASIAN TIGER

By Andi Abdussalam  
      Jakarta, April 20 (Antara) - Indonesia is now putting in place industrial development programs across the country in an effort to create a new economic growth momentum and emerge as a new Asian economic tiger.
         "I am very much convinced that the current 21st century will be the best century for Indonesia, as the country is destined to emerge as an Asian giant," former Indonesian ambassador to the United States Dino Patt Djalal, who is now taking part in the ruling Democratic Party presidential candidate convection, said in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara, on Wednesday last week.
         As part of the development, the Ministry of Industry is encouraging the acceleration and equitable distribution of locating industries throughout the country.
         "We hope we can continue to develop industries throughout the country to increase their added values, particularly industries outside Java," Industry Deputy Minister Alex SW Retraubun said in press statement made available to Antara here on Wednesday.

Rabu, 16 April 2014

JUSUF KALLA IS IDEAL RUNNING MATE FOR JOKOWI?

 By Andi Abdussalam 
          Jakarta, April 16 (Antara) - The Bandung-based Padjadjaran University (Unpad) said on Tuesday that of the four presidential-vice presidential candidate pairs it had assessed in a simulation on the human right aspect, the Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla duo recorded the highest score.
         Some observers had opined that it will be ideal for popular Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi, to run for president with Jusuf Kalla (JK) as his running mate.
         The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI), which according to unofficial quick counts won the first place in last week's legislative elections, had nominated Jokowi as its presidential candidate for the July 9 presidential contest.
         Tipped by many to be the winner of the presidential election, Jokowi is currently communicating with other electoral contestants, including seeking a running mate. The PDIP had previously opened communications with the National Democrat Party (NasDem).
         Political communications expert Lely Arrianie Napitupulu of the Mercu Buana University said if the NasDem can encourage Jusuf Kalla to pair up with Jokowi, the PDIP will face no problems.

Selasa, 15 April 2014

NATIONAL EXAM BEING USED AS TARGET OF PRACTICAL POLITICS?

 By Andi Abdussalam 
          Jakarta, April 15 (Antara) - Amid the general elections in the current 'year of politics', when the country will see a change in the leadership in October, the government is organizing a national examination for senior high school students.
         A total of 2.8 million students from upper secondary schools (SMA), senior high Islamic schools (MA), senior high vocational schools (SMK), and Packet C students appeared for a three-day-long state examination across the country on Monday.
         The 2.8 million students will become first-time voters in the July 9, 2014, presidential election. They can contribute a large number of votes to electoral contestants.
         Therefore, it was surprising when it was found that the name of popular Governor Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi, appeared in the Indonesian Language subject of the national examination.
         As Jokowi was named as a presidential candidate by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP), the inclusion of his name in the exam materials soon drew criticism.

Senin, 14 April 2014

SOME 2.8 MILLION SCHOOL STUDENTS APPEAR FOR NATIONAL EXAMS

 By Andi Abdussalam   
          Jakarta, April 14 (Antara) - About 2.8 million students from upper secondary schools (SMA), senior high Islamic schools (MA), senior high vocational schools (SMK), and Packet C students appeared for a three-day long state examinations across the country, on Monday.
         President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, through his twitter account, wished them luck for the national examinations, which was one of the stages they have to clear before taking up further studies at universities.
         The format of the national exams held this year differs from that of the previous years. The results of this year's examinations will be used to gain acceptance at state universities.
         "You must have high spirit while appearing in the exams," the President noted, expressing hope that students will perform satisfactorily in the national examinations. 
   "May you get satisfactory results," prayed the President.

         The number of SMA, MA, and Packet C students appearing in this year's examinations totaled 1,644,713, while the number of SMK students taking the same exam was recorded at 1,184,987.

Minggu, 13 April 2014

ISLAMIC-BASED PARTIES CAN FORM COALITION

 By Andi Abdussalam 
          Jakarta, April 13 (Antara) - The Islamic-based political parties have the potential to form a coalition to nominate presidential and  vice presidential candidates for the July 9, 2014 presidential elections.
         Based on unofficial quick counts on the results of the April 9 legislative election, Islamic parties collectively won about 32 percent of the votes, exceeding the 25 percent presidential threshold as required by the law for a political party or a group of political parties to nominate a presidential candidate.
         According to Islamic political observer Dr Yon Mchmudi of the University of Indonesia, Islamic parties have the chance to form a strong coalition and to nominate a presidential candidate for the July 9, 2014 presidential race.
         "The Islamic-based parties such as the National Awakening Party (PKB), the National Mandate Party (PAN), the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and the United Development Party (PPP) have the potential to become an alternative force," he said on Friday.
         Yon Machmudi said the coalition of the religious-based parties could serve as an alternative force because they had a collective vote gain of about 32 percent. After all, they all have relatively similar ideologies.

Sabtu, 12 April 2014

PDIP, NASDEM CAN FORM IDEAL COALITION

 By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, April 12 (Antara) - Observers believe the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) could build an ideal coalition with a strong government if it merged with NasDem and picked Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla as its presidential pair-up.
         Forming a coalition with the National Democrat Party (NasDem) will be helpful for PDIP to support incumbent Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi, in the  presidential race on July 9, 2014, political communications observer Hendri Satrio of Paramadina University said.
         "It seems that NasDem is the political party that PDIP badly needs to form a coalition with because PDIP also needs media exposure. The next campaign stage will involve competition through a means of  media publications. This is important to help improve Jokowi's image, and the PDI's itself," Hendri said, referring to the power of media in image-building.
         NasDem, according to Hendri, is a political party with a good media image. In the legislative election, NasDem could receive more votes than predicted, based on a number of pollsters quick count results. This is thanks to the media that supports it.
         NasDem's chief, Suryah Paloh, is a media magnate and in charge of the Media Group, running a number of daily newspapers and the private Metro TV station.

GOVT WILL NOT EXTEND FREEPORT CONTRACT BEFORE 2019

By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, April 12 (Antara) - The government will not extend the work contract of US-based gold and copper mining firm PT Freeport Indonesia prior to 2019, though the company is currently seeking an extension of its contract.
         "There has been no decision now regarding the extension of Freeport Indonesia because the contract can only be extended two years before it expires," Director General of Mineral Resources and Coal R Sukhyar said in Jakarta on Friday.
         The work contract extension signed by Freeport and the government in 1991 will expire in 2021, resulting in Freeport only being able to propose an extension in 2019.
         Rumors suggested that Freeport's work contract would be extended, along with its revisions, following the enacting of a law which requires all mining firms to build smelters.
         The law, Law No.4/2009 on Mineral and Coal Mining, also bans the exports of unprocessed mineral ore. Due to this new requirement, all contracts for mining firms have to be revised.
   "We are negotiating on six points of revision in the work contract, but none of the six points are about contract extensions," stated Sukhyar.